Laura Czaplewski will represent Minnesota at National History Day
For the past two years, American Indian Magnet School social studies teacher Laura Czaplewski’s students have advanced to the state competition for History Day. On May 1, she was recognized by History Day staff for her accomplishments and was selected to represent Minnesota at National History Day in Washington D.C. in June. Congratulations, Ms. Czaplewski.

OWL students named semifinalists in National Bright Schools Competition
Sixth grade students under the mentorship of OWL’s Rebecca Palmer have been named national finalists in the inaugural Bright Schools Competition. The competition is a collaboration between the National Sleep Foundation and the National Science Teachers Association that encourages students in grades 6-8 to explore the correlation between light and sleep and how it influences student health and performance. OWL’s team was chosen as one of 50 finalists out of 170 teams from 63 schools nationwide.

Highland Park Senior High student attends International Science Fair
Highland Park Senior High School student Lucia Calatayud recently presented her project in an invitation-only International science fair in Houston, Texas. I-SWEEEP (International Sustainable World in Energy Engineering and Environment Project) is open to top high school students from around the world.

Lucia competed at the prestigious event from April 26 to May 1, along with 600 students from 62 countries, presenting her "Maximum Solar Energy" project that uses mirrors with a solar panel to record the amount of energy that is produced. I-SWEEEP gives students the opportunity to position themselves as the scientists and engineers of the future.

Turnout for SPPS Walk/Bike to School Day event is best showing to date
Hats off to the 16 schools and the administration site that participated in last week’s Bike/Walk to School Day. With more than 4,000 staff and students walking and/or biking, this was SPPS’ best showing to date.

SPPS sites that registered for the event included: Creative Arts Secondary, Highland Park Senior High School, Hamline Elementary and Jie Ming Mandarin Academy, Capitol Hill Magnet School, Highland Park Elementary, Linwood Monroe Arts Plus, EXPO, Groveland Park Elementary, Eastern Heights Elementary, St. Anthony Park Elementary, Open World Learning, Washington Technology Magnet, 1780 West Seventh, Hazel Park Preparatory Academy, Battle Creek Elementary, and Randolph Heights.

Thanks to the five schools that ran all-school Bus/Drop/& Walk events and a special thanks to the SPPS Transportation Department for helping that go off flawlessly. It looks like our SPPS Traveling Trophy may need a bigger platform. Stay tuned for results.

OWL students present state budget analysis to local representatives
Students in Open World Learning’s Algebra 1 class presented their state budget analysis projects to local lawmakers this week using math to answer the question: "Does the state budget reflect the values of the state of Minnesota?" The eighth grade students arranged meetings with their state Senators and Representatives on May 4 in the atrium of the new senate building to discuss their state budget analysis. The topics for their presentations were chosen by the students and reflect many equity issues including incarceration rates, homelessness, educational spending, the wage gap and diversion services among others.

SPPS seniors featured in ‘I Am SPPS’
The “I am SPPS” campaign shares videos, photos and quotes from SPPS students, staff, families and supporters. The campaign can be found on Facebook and Twitter, and at spps.org/iamspps.

Last week “I Am SPPS” featured:

  • Yossef Elsawy, a senior at Humboldt High School
  • Davante’, student at Phalen Lake Hmong Studies
  • Jamarques Robinson, a senior at Central High School